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what is the least # of cars....???

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  • what is the least # of cars....???

    to finish an IndyCar race, either CART or the IRL, or even during the USAC years. to the best of my recollections, i recall a California 500 (CART) a few years back with 4-5 cars left at the finish. in fact, i think that was Casey Mears' debut in an IndyCar and he came away with a top 5 finish (due in part to the attrition). i'm too lazy to do the research, so if anybody has any memories
    www.dulcetroad.com

    My Band's website!!!!

  • #2
    At Indy, the fewest running was 1966, when there were only 7 cars left. However, this is actually an aburration, because 11 cars were involved in a crash at the start (and a 12th wrecked as soon as they went back to green!)

    Other than that, the 1982 race officially only had 8 cars running, (as well did 1951, and 1967).

    The 2000 Marlboro 500 at Fontana had 6 cars running, (out of 25 starters). They actually started the race Sunday, ran 33 laps, then it rained, they finished it Monday. Casey Mears got 4th place.


    Pretty sure we discussed this once, we'll have to look back...
    Doctorindy.com

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    • #3
      For the IRL, the fewest is 9, on several occassions:

      Orlando 1/27/96
      Phoenix 3/24/96
      Indy 5/26/96
      Orlando 1/25/97*
      Phoenix 3/23/97
      Nashville 7/21/01

      *rain-shortened, but only 19 cars started
      No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

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      • #4
        What is the highest car count in IRL history besides INDY?

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        • #5
          Buddy91 "What is the highest car count in IRL history besides INDY?"

          I'm going to take a wild guess and say Las Vegas in 1997. It was cold as could be, but I think there were 30 or 31 cars. Of course, I could be wrong.
          Chicago Blackhawks done didn't do it again!

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          • #6
            The lowest number of cars that finished a race that I could remember was four. This happened at Trenton in 1974. I can remember Billy Vukovich and Jimmy Carauthers taking it easy the last few laps because thay had a good finish locked up and they would not catch the dominate Bobby Unser.

            http://www.motorsport.com/stats/champ/data/ch197405.pdf

            The lowest car count I can remember that started a race was 17 at Trenton a year later. They list 17 on the box score but Al Loquasto crashed and may have been hospitalized by the time the green flag fell. The Trenton race before Indy seemed to have low car counts, especially in the seventies. In either 1980 or 1981 they had to cancel the race because only three entries were filed.

            http://www.motorsport.com/stats/champ/data/ch197505.pdf

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            • #7
              pocono

              The year that Cart started and only seven cars started the race.
              I know AJ won.I think Sneva and Simon were there also. Then after that they were refered to as the Pocono Seven.

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              • #8
                I seem to remember a brutally hot Michigan 500 that caused a bunch of gearbox failures. I think only six cars were running at the finish.

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                • #9
                  I know every race I've seen this year, outside of the USAC midgets at Anderson, needed bigger entries.

                  I also know that today's cars are dependable enough to get a higher percentage to the finish.

                  The early turbo days could be nightmares with a third of the field blowing up early on.
                  "Living well is the best revenge"

                  George Herbert

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                  • #10
                    Bird,

                    You missed Sprint week this year. With app. 50 entries each race, if you blew your qual lap, you were on the truck and didn't even make the heat race.
                    Natural Born Cynic

                    What irks me (maybe its too soon for the truth), DW was a 16-oval WIN specialist, yet the vast majority those boohooing for him, hardcarders & fans, alike are the same ones trying to kill anything with more than 9 deg banking & 4 corners, where Dan ultimately made his home...

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                    • #11
                      Re: pocono

                      Originally posted by gkirch
                      The year that Cart started and only seven cars started the race.
                      I know AJ won.I think Sneva and Simon were there also. Then after that they were refered to as the Pocono Seven.
                      That would have been the 1981 race...shown here...

                      Pocono 1981

                      Although it was a pretty good size field, it may have well had been 7 cars. They were pretty much the only "real" race cars in that race. The rest of the field was filled with dirt cars, and were rediculously off the pace. Thank goodness rain put a stop to that thing early, otherwise it would have been even worse. Those 7 cars managed to somewhat keep up, but from that point back in the order, some of the cars were running 30 laps down...actually two cars were still running, 56 laps behind the leader...

                      Thank goodness also that qualifying was rained out...imagine cars 50 mph slower than the pole....

                      Pretty much the absolute end to USAC Indycar racing outside of Indy.
                      Doctorindy.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hardscrabble
                        Buddy91 "What is the highest car count in IRL history besides INDY?"

                        I'm going to take a wild guess and say Las Vegas in 1997. It was cold as could be, but I think there were 30 or 31 cars. Of course, I could be wrong.
                        It was 31. One for each of us fans freezing our arses off in the stands.

                        No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

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                        • #13
                          17 cats starting a race at Trenton??!!

                          Thank God there was no internet back then!

                          Imagine the trolling the week after THAT race!

                          Actually I drove by the joint just a few hours ago.

                          Still have to take a quick look out my window every time I drive by there on Rt33.

                          Only in that area a few times a year.

                          You can still see the tops of the old fairgrounds buildings.
                          The few which werent demolished.

                          Theres now another strip mall about where the parking lot behind the covered stands were.

                          No idea when that was built. Sometime in the last couple years I guess UGH.

                          progress sucks
                          Live like Dave

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                          • #14
                            Weren't there only 5 running at the finish at the first Michigan 500?

                            Tom Eidemiller
                            Knoxville TN
                            Please visit the tribute to my longtime friend Mel Kenyon

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                            • #15
                              The Silverstone and Brands Hatch races back in 1978 had 16 and 15 starters, respectively. That come close? And the 1978 California 500 had 5 finishers, the last of which, Roger Mears (6th) had 158 laps in when he was flagged.
                              You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                              Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

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